Meet The Team 2018-09-19T17:25:51+00:00

Meet Our Team

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Our Staff   |   Board of Directors

Dan Lewis
Executive Director
dan.lewis@denverleadership.org
303-620-8024

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Dan Lewis joined the team as executive director in July 2015. As a former chair of the Leadership Foundation’s board of directors and an alumnus of several Leadership Foundation programs, Dan is passionate about the work of this organization and is committed to inspiring a diverse community of leadership to improve Colorado.

Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation team, Dan served as Chief Communications Officer for Molson Coors, where he was responsible for corporate reputation, communications, corporate responsibility and employee engagement for the company’s 15,000 people worldwide. He also led corporate communications for Delta Air Lines and global public relations for Lufthansa German Airlines prior to his arrival in Denver in 2006.

Fluent in German, Dan holds a Master of Communication degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.  Among his civic leadership commitments, Dan currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mile High United Way and was previously a board member with the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Our Staff — Operations

Nikki Barta
Executive Assistant
nikki.barta@denverleadership.org
303-620-8024

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Meet Nikki Barta, Denver native and executive assistant of the Leadership Foundation.  She takes on her ever-changing role with a smile and a double-jointed thumbs-up. It’s no wonder her spirit animal is a chameleon.  When she’s not taking care of our team or our board up here on the 5th Floor, you can find her walking/running/chasing after her (adorable) toddler and preschooler or sitting on a patio enjoying a glass pinto. She also likes to get her Pinterest-inspired crafting on and cooking vegan-ish meals for her family.

Wylia Sims
Manager of Finance and Operations
wylia.sims@denverleadership.org
303-620-8037

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Wylia is the manager of finance and operations at the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. Responsible for managing the finances and operations of the Foundation. She also serves as the staff lead for the Foundation’s Inclusivity and Diversity Committee. She has worked for a range of organizations from a major national network of community based organizations to a start-up online philanthropic marketplace; a privately funded global foundation to a corporate foundation; to serving on several nonprofit Boards and volunteering – she hopes to match her broad experience with her passion to bring purpose and fun to work life.

Wylia received a BBA in International Business from Howard University and a MS in Nonprofit Management from The Milano Graduate School of Management at New School University. She currently serves on the board of directors for Metro Volunteers and volunteers with Africa Development Promise.

Our Staff — Programs

Denise King
Program Director
denise.king@denverleadership.org
303-620-8055

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Denise King is program director for our flagship program, Leadership Denver, as well as the Colorado Civic DNA Fellows program. She also works with the program directors and students involved with the Colorado Leadership Alliance. If you have been in one of Denise’s classes you have probably learned her version of Roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) and know that the chimes will ring on time! A master’s degree in education kicked off a career in management and leadership development, including working at American Management Association’s Operation Enterprise, where learning to water ski and wrapping a toga were required parts of the curriculum. She likes this leadership stuff so much that she serves on the national board for the Association of Leadership Professionals as well as the Governor’s Commission on Community Service (Serve Colorado).

Kirsten Vermulen
Program Director and Executive Director for B:CIVIC
kirsten.vermulen@denverleadership.org
303-620-8109

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Kirsten oversees the Leadership Exchange, Colorado Experience and Access Denver programs as well as the Foundation’s Civic DNA initiative.

Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation, Kirsten served as the director of education and member programs for Housing Colorado, an education and advocacy organization advancing safe, decent and affordable housing for all Coloradans. She began her nonprofit career at the Colorado Chautauqua Association in Boulder, Colorado managing membership services and donor development initiatives for the historic cultural institution.

She currently serves on the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO), B:Civic and Dance2BFree boards of directors and as chair of the Colorado Civic Health Network. Kirsten is a graduate of Ohio University (B.A. in English and Theater) and Northpark University (Master of Nonprofit Administration). If you know her, you know that she also leads a double life as a propagator of transcendental musical inclusion. That’s all we’ll say about that…

Elizabeth Prutch
Manager of Alumni Engagement
elizabeth.prutch@den
verleadership.org
303-620-8058

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Elizabeth is the alumni engagement manager at the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. In this role, she focuses on creating ways for the wide variety of alumni to stay connected to each other and the Foundation. It’s understood that every alumni needs a different form of engagement so Elizabeth has formed the Alumni Advisory Council to help form social and educational experiences as options to stay connected.  Her time is also spent keeping a watchful eye on The Network powered by Southwest, an online portal (Facebook meets LinkedIn) she helped to create for Leadership Foundation alumni.

Her professional background ranges from the National MS Society to The Denver Post where she’s spent 10+ years focused on community & corporate relations, event management and corporate responsibility. Elizabeth’s strengths will be easily identifiable as an influencer and relationship builder when you meet her.  Elizabeth is thrilled to be a part of the amazing Leadership Foundation team and looks forward to welcoming new alumni to the network each year.

VJ Brown
Program Manager
vj.brown@denverleadership.org
303-620-8073

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VJ is a program manager for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and oversees Impact Denver and works closely with the Colorado Leadership Alliance. In addition, VJ supports the Leadership Foundation’s initiatives around Inclusivity and Diversity. A proud Daniels Fund scholar alum, he received a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. Throughout his professional career, VJ has engaged with leadership programming at different levels, most recently as a fellow with El Pomar Foundation. In addition, he serves as a board member for the Civic Canopy, a member of the Colorado Academy Alumni Board, and alumni of the Chinook Fund’s Giving Project. He’s an avid foodie, hiker and all about the local sports teams. As a native, he believes wholeheartedly in cultivating a healthy civic community to make Denver the best place to live.

Mikaela Gibson
Programs and Events Specialist
mikaela.gibson@denverleadership.org
303-620-8066

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Mikaela Gibson is a program and events specialist for the Leadership Foundation. She juggles vendors, attendees and logistics with the greatest of ease. She has moved 15 times in the past four years, across two countries, three states and Washington D.C., so obviously she’s also a master at packing boxes, a.k.a. high-stakes Tetris. No word on if she’s a master at the actual game of Tetris, but we’ll tell you what she is good at: using at-home face masks. Yes, her skin may be caked and green at night, but it is glowing during the day. She is also good at having terrible handwriting (which is a more positive way of saying that she is bad at writing neatly). Last but not least, Mikaela is a champion couponer—the “coupon queen,” one might say. (Actually, she said it. That’s what she calls herself.) She never pays full price for anything, so nice try, beautiful $90 cashmere cardigan in her favorite color. See you on the clearance rack.

Megan Vivier
Programs and Events Specialist
megan.vivier@denverleadership.org
303-620-8035

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Megan is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver where she found her interest in leadership (and her husband) through the Urban Leadership Program. She enjoys daily walks to Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha to collect stars on the Starbucks app. Yay free drinks! One thing on her bucket list is to swim with her spirit animal, the great white shark, in South Africa. She loves all things tropical and loves traveling to coastal cities.

Megan lives in Arvada with her husband and golden retriever puppy, Oakley.

Erica Rutledge
Program and Events Specialist
erica.rutledge@denverleadership.org
303-620-8116

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Erica is the programs and events specialist for the Leadership Foundation. She discovered a love for leadership development in high school and furthered her education in the President’s Leadership Program at CSU. She tried living in California after college but couldn’t handle the long commute and soon moved back to Colorado where she was born and raised. She considers herself a foodie, however, you would never know it by her social media since she usually is too excited to eat and forgets to take pictures. But you can be sure she has plenty of restaurant recommendations! In her spare time you can find her cheering on the Broncos, brunching, hiking to work off brunch and watching reruns of Friends.

Board of Directors

Ruth Rohs
Board Chair
VP Corporate Communications / Executive Director of the IMA Foundation
IMA Financial Group, Inc.

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Tara Dunn
Past Chair of the Board
President
HighMark Law, LLC

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Akasha Absher
Chief Consulting Officer
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel

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Iván Anaya
President
Astucia Ventures

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Donna Baros
Chief Benefits Officer
Colorado PERA

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Rich Benenson
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

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Kelly Brough
President and CEO
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

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Lisha Burnett
Manager of Sustainability and Communications
Suncor Energy USA, Inc.

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Pete Casillas
President and Publisher
Denver Business Journal

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Savinay Chandrasekhar
Executive Director
Minds Matter of Denver

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Jennifer Chang
Regional Manager
Federal Civilian Scientific
Cisco Systems

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Linda Childears
President and CEO
Daniels Fund

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Justin Cooper
Vice President
Saunders Construction

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Josh Craver
Global Head of Talent Management
FIS

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Janine Davidson
President
Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Eric Duran
First Vice President
D. A. Davidson & Company

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Laura English
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region

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E. Martin Enriquez
Partner
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

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Renny Fagan
President and CEO
Colorado Nonprofit Association

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Norm Franke
Regional President
Alpine Bank

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Andrea Fulton
Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer
Denver Art Museum

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Bill Fulton
Founder and Executive Director
Civic Canopy

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Brent Geist
Vice President of Investments
FirstBank Holding Company

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Anthony E. Graves
Director of Regional Affairs
City and County of Denver

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Gino Greco
CEO
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter

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Jennifer Hallam
Senior Operations Manager
BKD, LLP

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Kenneth Ho
Development Manager
Lennar Multifamily

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Michael Katz
Senior Vice President, Division Manager
U.S. Bank

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Adeeb Khan
Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
TIAA

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Kittie Hook
Managing Director
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

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Barb Jahn
Chief Operating Officer
SCL Health – Saint Joseph Hospital

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Jon Lehmann
Senior Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs
Comcast

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Jim Licko
Managing Partner
GroundFloor Media/CenterTable

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Michelle Lucero
CAO and General Counsel
Children’s Hospital Colorado

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Jason Maples
Executive Vice President
Lockton Companies, LLC

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Gretta Mincer
Program Director
Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Jennifer Nealson
Chief Marketing Officer
SALT Blockchain Asset Management

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Lorii Rabinowitz
Chief Executive Officer
Denver Scholarship Foundation

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Diane Reinhard
Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer
Craig Hospital

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Jason Romero
Vice President, Client Advisor
JPMorgan

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Andrew Schmidt
Partner
Core Contractors

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Tyler Smith
Area Manager – Community and Local Government Affairs
Xcel Energy

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Amy Venturi
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor

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Colin Wheeler
Senior Director of Global External Communications
Molson Coors Brewing Company

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